Sunday, March 29, 2015

Vice President Biden Calls South Africa’s Thabo Mbeki

Office of the Vice President
March 25, 2015

Readout of the Vice President’s Call with Former South African President Thabo Mbeki

Vice President Biden called the Chairperson of the African Union High-Level Implementation Panel for Sudan and South Sudan and former President of South Africa Thabo Mbeki today to discuss Sudan. Vice President Biden thanked President Mbeki for his leadership and his efforts to bring the many Sudanese groups together, and the two discussed the importance of establishing one nation-wide approach to ending the conflicts in Sudan. Vice President Biden and President Mbeki discussed the urgent need for continued pressure on the Sudanese government and opposition leaders, as well as civil society groups, to begin the process of a national dialogue. The Vice President emphasized that African Union leadership will be crucial to promoting inclusive governance, ensuring respect for human rights, and urgently bringing the conflicts in Blue Nile, Southern Kordofan, and Darfur to a peaceful end. They agreed to continue closely coordinating African Union and U.S. efforts.


National Security Adviser Susan Rice Meets Nigerian Minister of Defense Aliyu Gusau

Office of the Press Secretary
March 25, 2015

Statement by NSC Spokesperson Bernadette Meehan on National Security Advisor Susan E. Rice’s Meeting with Nigerian Minister of Defense Aliyu Mohammed Gusau

National Security Advisor Susan E. Rice met today with Defense Minister Aliyu Mohammed Gusau of Nigeria. Ambassador Rice noted Nigeria’s upcoming presidential elections on March 28, and, echoing President Obama’s message to the Nigerian people earlier this week, she underscored the importance of a transparent, free, fair, and inclusive electoral process without violence. She also highlighted the critical need for the Nigerian security forces to remain apolitical while providing election security. Additionally, Ambassador Rice noted recent progress Nigeria and its neighbors have achieved in the campaign against Boko Haram. She reaffirmed the United States’ support for a regional campaign to counter the terrorist group while respecting human rights and addressing the underlying causes of Boko Haram’s founding and territorial expansion. Ambassador Rice reaffirmed the United States’ commitment to continue to support Nigeria and its regional partners in their efforts to end Boko Haram’s deplorable violence, protect civilians, and restore security throughout the Lake Chad Basin region.


Monday, March 23, 2015

US Issues Statement on Disappearance of Zimbabwe Civil Society Activist Itai Dzamara

Press Statement
Jeff Rathke
Director, Bureau of Public Affairs, Office of Press Relations
Washington, DC
March 20, 2015

We remain deeply concerned by the disappearance of Zimbabwean civil society activist Itai Dzamara. Mr. Dzamara disappeared on March 9, 2015. His whereabouts and well-being remain unknown. The United States urges the Zimbabwean authorities to mobilize their full resources to locate Mr. Dzamara and investigate the circumstances surrounding Mr. Dzamara’s disappearance as well as to ensure the protection of his human rights and fundamental freedoms.

The United States stands with Mr. Dzamara and the people of Zimbabwe in defending the rights to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly, and joins calls for Mr. Dzamara’s immediate and safe return to his family and friends.

Secretary Kerry Issues Statement on Tunisia’s Independence Day

Department of State
Washington, DC
March 20, 2015

As we join all Tunisians in celebrating this year’s National Day, this is a moment to reflect on the extraordinary steps Tunisia has taken during the last year to move from a period of transition to the consolidation of its democracy.

In conversations with President Caid Essebsi and Prime Minister Essid yesterday, President Obama and I expressed our sincerest condolences to the families of those killed on March 18. We condemn in the strongest terms the heinous and cowardly attack perpetrated by the terrorists at the historic National Bardo Museum.

Those terrible acts cannot diminish the shining example that Tunisia and its people offer us all. Just one year ago, a transitional government was entering office after a period of considerable political upheaval. In short order, the Tunisian people participated in free and fair elections, installed a new parliament and president, and showed the world what can be accomplished through the dedication to democracy, consensus, and an inclusive political process.

We commend the Tunisian government and all Tunisians for working together to meet their aspirations for freedom, security, economic opportunity, and dignity. The peaceful demonstrations against Wednesday’s terrorist attack in Tunis show Tunisian resolve to stand up for the ideals of their hard-fought democratic revolution.

While more work lies ahead, the Tunisian people can be proud of their extraordinary achievements. The United States remains committed to strengthening and expanding our strategic partnership with the Tunisian people as they continue to lay the foundation for a bright and prosperous future for their country.

I send the people of Tunisia our warmest wishes for a patriotic holiday, a peaceful year ahead, and all continued success.

Asst. Sec. Linda Thomas-Greenfield Travels to the Central African Republic

Office of the Spokesperson
Department of State
Washington, DC
March 20, 2015

Assistant Secretary for African Affairs Linda Thomas-Greenfield visited the Central African Republic March 17-19, 2015, her third visit there since December 2013. In Bangui, Assistant Secretary Thomas-Greenfield had useful meetings on the evolution of the crisis in the Central African Republic with Transitional President Catherine Samba-Panza, as well as with members of the Transitional Government, the Transitional National Council, the Preparatory Committee for the Bangui Forum, the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA), and members of civil society. Several of her interlocutors described on-going preparations for the Bangui Forum (National Dialogue) expected to be held in late April, as well as for national elections to be held at a later date.

For further information, please visit or follow @StateAfrica on Twitter.

Secretary Kerry Issues Statement on Namibia’s Independence Day

Department of State
Washington, DC
March 20, 2015

On behalf of President Obama and the American people, I congratulate the citizens of Namibia as they celebrate 25 years of independence on March 21.

Namibia’s pursuit of democratic principles and economic prosperity stands as an example to the region. As a friend and partner, the United States is proud of the work our two countries are doing to fight HIV/AIDS, promote education, and ensure environmental conservation. We will continue to seek new ways of partnering with Namibia to create peace and prosperity.

As you celebrate the Silver Jubilee of your independence, I offer warmest wishes to all Namibians in the year ahead.

President Obama Calls Tunisia’s President Essebsi

Office of the Press Secretary
March 19, 2015

Readout of the President’s Call with President Beji Caid Essebsi of Tunisia

President Obama spoke today with President Beji Caid Essebsi of Tunisia to offer condolences and support following the March 18 terrorist attack against the National Bardo Museum in Tunis. President Obama extended sympathy, on behalf of all Americans, to the victims’ families and loved ones. The President commended the Tunisian people for their commitment to standing strong and united in the face of terrorism, and reiterated that Tunisia’s inclusive democracy is a powerful example in the region and beyond. The President affirmed our continued robust cooperation on counterterrorism and broader security issues with the Tunisian government and offered continued U.S. assistance and support in the ongoing investigation.


Acting Asst. Sec. for Consular Affairs Michele Bond Travels to the DRC

File Photo
Media Note
Office of the Spokesperson
Department of State
Washington, DC
March 19, 2015

Acting Assistant Secretary for Consular Affairs Michele T. Bond is visiting the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), the Netherlands, and Italy, March 19-27. While in the DRC, she will meet with government officials to discuss intercountry adoption concerns

PMI Country in Focus – Madagascar

US Government Photo
A family beneath their ITN
Credit: Maggie Hallahan

Story: PMI Newsletter

Malaria is a major health problem in Madagascar. Although its epidemiology varies considerably in different regions of the country, the entire population is considered to be at risk. While malaria cases and deaths reported through the national health management information system declined over the period, 2003–2011, severe malaria remains among the top five causes of reported overall mortality. After a military coup in 2009, the President’s Malaria Initiative (PMI) was unable to provide direct assistance to the government of Madagascar. For four years, PMI focused its support on the Madagascar National Strategic Plan for malaria; coordinated with non-government partners; and supported community-level programming. In May 2014, following presidential elections and the inauguration of a new government, the U.S. Government lifted the restrictions on working directly with the government of Madagascar. PMI is now re-engaging with the Malagasy Ministry of Health from the central to the primary health facility levels.

State Department’s First Connect Camp in Tanzania Empowers Young African Leaders

Media Note
Office of the Spokesperson
Department of State
Washington, DC
March 9, 2015

The Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) will conduct eight Connect Camps in Tanzania, Namibia, Rwanda, and Cote d’Ivoire during 2015-2016 supporting alumni from the Mandela Washington Fellowship (MWF) for Young African Leaders and their chosen mentees.

The Connect Camps offer an opportunity for alumni of the Mandela Washington Fellowship to share the professional skills and networks they acquired from the Young African Leaders Initiative with other young African leaders in their rural communities. The Connect Camps aim to extend the reach and momentum of the Young African Leaders Initiative by providing access to resources, networks, and capacity building to mentor future generations of African leaders to lead organizations, communities, and countries. This will spur economic growth and enhance peace and security in Africa.

In coordination with the Institute for International Journalism (IIJ) at Ohio University, the State Department will host the first cohort of Connect Camp participants in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania from March 9–13, 2015. During this week-long Connect Camp, participants will take part in technical workshops learning how to use low-bandwidth technologies in projects, map resources in local communities, as well as best practices in mentorship and leadership. They will also work on a group-mapping project with MapGive, where they will begin building maps of local resources in their communities and develop them further once they return home.

The Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders is the flagship program of President Obama’s Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI). President Obama launched YALI in 2010 to support young African leaders as they spur growth and prosperity, strengthen democratic governance, and enhance peace and security across Africa business and entrepreneurship, civic leadership, or public management.
For further information on Connect Camps or media inquiries, please contact the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs at

Friday, March 20, 2015

United States Breaks Ground on New U.S. Embassy in N’Djamena, Chad

State Department Photo

Media Note
Office of the Spokesperson
Department of State
Washington, DC
March 19, 2015

U.S. Ambassador to Chad James Knight broke ground on the new U.S. Embassy in N’Djamena today, a milestone in the enduring friendship with the Republic of Chad.

The new Embassy will be situated on a 12-acre site southeast of downtown N’Djamena, and will include a chancery, a U.S. Marine Corps residence, a support annex/warehouse, a utility building, and facilities for the Embassy community.

The $225 million project will incorporate numerous sustainable features and targets Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED®) Gold certification by the U.S. Green Building Council.

The design architect is Moore Ruble Yudell Architects & Planners of Santa Monica, California, and Page of Arlington, Virginia is the architect of record. BL Harbert International of Birmingham, Alabama will construct the project, with anticipated completion in late 2016.

OBO’s mission is to provide safe, secure, and functional facilities that represent the U.S. government to the host nation and support our staff in the achievement of U.S. foreign policy objectives. These facilities should represent American values and the best in American architecture, engineering, technology, sustainability, art, culture, and construction execution.


U.S. Delegation to Attend Inauguration of Namibia’s President-elect Hage Geingob

Office of the Press Secretary
March 19, 2015

President Obama Announces Presidential Delegation to Attend the Inauguration of His Excellency Hage Geingob, President-elect of the Republic of Namibia, and the 25th Anniversary of Independence of the Republic of Namibia

President Barack Obama today announced the designation of a Presidential Delegation to the Republic of Namibia to attend the Inauguration of His Excellency Hage Geingob, President-elect of the Republic of Namibia, and the 25th Anniversary of Independence of the Republic of Namibia on March 21, 2015.

The Honorable Heather Higginbottom, Deputy Secretary of State for Management and Resources, will lead the delegation.

Members of the Presidential Delegation:

* The Honorable Thomas F. Daughton, U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of Namibia
* The Honorable Karen Bass, Member of the United States House of Representatives (CA-37)
* The Honorable Linda Thomas-Greenfield, Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs, Department of State
* The Honorable Deborah L. Birx, Ambassador-at-Large and United States Global AIDS Coordinator & Special Representative for Global Health Diplomacy, Department of State


Vice President Biden Calls Nigerian President Jonathan and Presidential Candidate Buhari

Office of the Vice President
March 18, 2015

Readout of the Vice President’s Calls with Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan and Presidential Candidate Muhammadu Buhari

Vice President Biden spoke today with Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan and presidential candidate Muhammadu Buhari ahead of the Nigerian presidential election, which is scheduled for March 28. The Vice President commended President Jonathan and General Buhari for signing the Abuja Accord in mid-January as a show of their commitment to non-violence throughout the election process. The Vice President further expressed the United States’ support for the Nigerian Independent National Electoral Commission and its work to deliver free, fair, and credible elections, in part through its essential efforts to distribute Permanent Voter Cards and help ensure that electronic voter card readers are in place and fully operational. He also noted his concern about the violence during some recent election-related events and reiterated the need for both candidates to make clear that such violence has no place in democratic elections. Vice President Biden affirmed that the United States stands with the Nigerian people in support of credible and peaceful elections, and will continue to stand with the Nigerian people whatever the outcome.


Under Secretary Sewall Travels to Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda

Office of the Spokesperson
Department of State
Washington, DC
March 13, 2015

Under Secretary for Civilian Security, Democracy and Human Rights Sarah Sewall will travel to Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda, March 12-20, 2015.

During her travel, Under Secretary Sewall will meet government officials, representatives of civil society, religious leaders, and young people to underscore U.S. support for their efforts to prevent and counter violent extremism (CVE), as well as to address a range of security, counterterrorism, human rights, and refugee-related concerns.

While in Kenya, Under Secretary Sewall will meet with the Kenyan delegation to the recent White House Summit to Counter Violent Extremism to discuss Summit follow up, including an upcoming regional event that Kenya will host. Under Secretary Sewall will travel to Mombasa to meet with political, security, civil society, and religious leaders.

In Tanzania, Under Secretary Sewall will visit State Department grantees working to counter violent extremism in their communities. They will include a youth center that facilitates discussion between Tanzanian youth and local police in order to build better community-security force relations and a job training and community integration program for former gang members vulnerable to the appeal of radical groups. She will also meet with government officials and local human rights groups.

In Uganda, Under Secretary Sewall will lead the U.S. delegation to the Global Counterterrorism Forum’s (GCTF) Horn of Africa working group plenary meeting, which will focus on countering violent extremism and capacity building. She will meet with Ugandan government officials and local leaders and youth, and visit a secondary school. She will also meet with civil society leaders working to defend human rights, including of LGBT and other vulnerable people.

Secretary Kerry Meets Business Leaders in Egypt

State Department Photo
Remarks at a Reception Hosted by the American Chamber of Commerce of Egypt

John Kerry
Secretary of State
Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt
March 13, 2015

Curt, thank you very, very much. Good morning to everybody, and thank you all for being here. It’s wonderful to be here. I’m really happy to be back, particularly here, and – where the water is tantalizing and the sun is warm. I come from the land of seven-foot snow drifts right now – (laughter) – Massachusetts. As you’ve been watching, we’ve had unparalleled amount of snow.

I was thinking, as I was just listening to the introductory comments, watching the video, and looking at this unbelievable gathering here of businesspeople, all of whom have come here with an appropriate sense of possibilities, of enthusiasm and a belief in the possibilities of the future. And then I was thinking about some of the other challenges that we obviously face within the region, discussions that I’ve been having with respect to Iran and Daesh and Libya and Yemen and different challenges.

So I was reminded, actually, of a story of Winston Churchill, who came to America at one point after the war to receive an award for temperance – temperance means not drinking, not being excessive. And here in a predominantly Muslim region, I know you already got the message; you’ve adopted – that your beliefs with respect to that. But I have to tell you that Churchill was very funny about – he really did have a great sense of humor about it all.

And so when he was brought in to receive this reward, the person giving him the award looked at him and said, “You know, Sir Winston, we’ve actually discovered that you really do drink a little bit. In fact, we figured out that you had a little wine at lunch and then in the middle of the afternoon you have a small constitutional, and then in the evening again wine with dinner, and then of course you’d take your bath with a big glass of brandy. And we calculated that if we were to take all the alcohol you had imbibed in a lifetime and added up, it would come to a line right here in this room.” And he pointed so that to a line, it was about where the top of the white panels are there.

And Winston sat back in his chair in a very, very pronounced way. And he looked very deliberately at the line, and then he looked at the ceiling. And then he looked at the line, looked at the ceiling again, and he turned to the introducer and he said, “So far to go, so little time.” (Laughter and applause.)

So the – I couldn’t help but say to myself, time – time is the challenge here. A long way to go, but a lot happening. And we’re beginning to get up to that line in terms of the investments, the things that need to happen to restore confidence. So I want to talk about that just a little bit here this morning, I really do. But I want to thank Curt, first of all. Thank you, Curt, for what you do; thank you for what Coca-Cola does, and for the leadership on the U.S.-Asia Business Council, together with Apache and Exxon and others. I think those of you who know Coca-Cola as a company, probably the world’s most recognized corporate brand – it really is a model case of a company that thinks globally but acts locally. And it acts locally as a good corporate citizen, does a great deal to help not just build a company that’s making a profit, but rather that’s giving back to the community. And the reason $500 million investment of Coke here in Egypt’s going to pay huge dividends, I know, not just for Egypt’s future, but literally for stability and shared prosperity throughout the region. So I thank you, Curt, and I thank Coca-Cola; I thank our friend who is not here, Muhtar Kent, and others for their leadership of this.

Ladies and gentlemen, ministers, many of you my friends who I’ve met along this journey, it’s really a privilege to join you today to reinforce the close partnership between the makers of American foreign policy and the engineers of global prosperity. And by that, I mean, obviously, all of you. In America, we don’t believe – at least most of us don’t believe the vast majority of the government is the engine of job creation. It’s the private sector, it’s the innovators, it’s the entrepreneurs; it’s people who are willing to put their capital into an idea, and to let that idea blossom by virtue of its acceptance in the marketplace and all that that then brings in terms of jobs, prosperity, opportunity, education, the next generation doing better.

And I want to thank the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and the American Chamber of Commerce in Egypt and the Egypt-U.S. Business Council for their belief in this formula and in the ability of the private sector to make an enormous difference. The fact is that the Chamber does a tremendous job, the businesses that are investing here, and I am grateful for the very capable team of American officials who have accompanied me here today. You heard a number of their names in the course of the introduction, but I just want to mention, first of all, Ambassador Steve Beecroft is one of America’s most skilled and capable diplomats. He was in Iraq, he helped us with the transition of the government there – he did a tremendous job, and many other folks – but he is now here in Egypt and we have extraordinary confidence in his ability to be helpful to all of you in this important collaboration between the public sector and the private sector.

In addition, Ambassador David Thorne, who’s already gotten much too much publicity this morning. But he spearheaded this economic effort, and we’re deeply grateful to him. He served previously as ambassador to Italy most recently, and a private businessman. Scott Nathan, who is my special representative for business affairs, who ran an important fund in Boston, has been an investor, a private investor, putting his capital on the line, making money for investors. He knows the bottom line, he understands spreadsheets, he understands opportunity, he knows how to evaluate it. And then, of course, Andy Baukol, the deputy assistant secretary of Treasury. We’re a team, together with our Commerce Department and those people engaged in our commercial affairs.

And our job is to encourage investment and help break down the barriers to the building of confidence that is essential for the movement of capital. We want to promote around the clock shared prosperity in Egypt and across the region, but particularly, I say, in Egypt. And we want to do that – (applause) – we want to do that. Why do I say “particularly?” Egypt has always had an extraordinary business corps. Egypt has great capacity. This is not something new. In addition, Egypt has always had a vibrant civil society. And it has been there for the hub of thinking, of progress, of energy, of direction in this region – not to mention the fact that it represents a quarter of the population of the Arab world. It has always, in my judgment, had the ability to demonstrate entrepreneurial energy. And prior to the first Tahrir Square, the economy was growing at 7 percent and rising.

I remember that very well, because I was here very, very shortly afterwards, and I was here before that. And I remember where we were before that moment of transformation. There is no reason whatsoever that with concerted effort and belief in the possibilities of the future they shouldn’t quickly get back to the 7 percent and then double it and get into the double digits. That’s not wishful thinking; that’s absolutely a choice staring us all in the face.

So the reason that we’re here is very, very clear. In the 21st century, a nation’s interests and wellbeing are advanced not just by and perhaps not even principally by troops and diplomats, but rather by entrepreneurs and executives, the forward-thinking companies. I believe that. That’s why, when I came to this job as Secretary of State, in the first days, even in my confirmation hearing, I said loudly and clearly – and I repeated again and again – economic policy is foreign policy, and foreign policy is economic policy. They are the same side of – two different sides of the same coin, my friends.

And in today’s world more than ever – much more than ever – we’re in a very different place than where we were at the end of World War II, when most economies of the developed world were destroyed. And one nation, obviously – ours – was in a position to be able to make choices and move. Frankly, to some degree, success was unavoidable. But the world has changed now with the fall of the Berlin Wall, with the changes in countries’ aspirations, with greater levels of education, with more and more people in touch with everybody all the time, every day, because of smart phones and mobile devices. Everybody has access to information and to aspirations and to possibilities. And more than ever, trade, innovation, investment are not just the principal engines of a strong economy; they’re the principal engines of a strong society. They build community and they provide the opportunity for people to be able to do so, and that’s not just in one place; that’s on every continent.

In today’s world, that translates – that kind of business activity and the recognition of global realities translates into not just economic growth, but it translates into stability, upward mobility for people, a better life, the opportunity to have an outlet for those aspirations that are raised by being in touch with everybody in the world and seeing what everybody else is doing.

So wisely channeled, the private sector engagement creates growth that is sustainable. And sustainability is critical in today’s world. It lifts living standards, it helps build bridges to communities that have for too long been left behind. It’s why I have always said that we must keep in mind this synergy – symbiosis, if you will – between the private sector and government today, if government today is doing its job properly.

And we live today in a world of unbelievably fast-rising expectations. But we also live in a world of stunning, increasing possibilities. In country after country, we also see there are huge numbers of unemployed young people. This is one of the countries where you have a massive number of people who are under the age of 35, perhaps 50 percent of the population under the age of 21, 40 percent under the age of 18. And so the responsibility to try to provide opportunity is even greater, and government needs to work even harder to make certain that that happens.

In Egypt, according to the World Bank, the youth unemployment rate is around 30 percent. But a lot of those young people have a combination – in some cases, education; in some cases, a cell phone and mobile device; in many cases, both – and they can communicate with people anywhere anytime, as you all know. And so frankly, that provides much greater demand. That’s why this business conference is really so important. Nobody defines the nature and extent of the opportunities more, frankly, than businesspeople themselves. And I think you are the best place to be able to actually build the future – together with the government, that has to help for a whole lot of reasons, and I’ll get into a couple of them in a minute. But to the extent that we can, my job in the State Department, President Obama’s commitment is to work with you in order to do everything that we can to help you to be able to move and control and shape this transformation that is staring us in the face.

Now, I can tell you we really do approach this challenge with confidence. No question in my mind that we can make it on this road. And there isn’t anyone here who I think doesn’t understand – yes, there are these level of challenges that I referred to in my comments about Churchill; of course there are. You see them everywhere – not just in the Middle East, by the way; they’re all over the world, these challenges. We face them, too. We’re still on our journey of transformation, always trying to do a little bit better. We understand that. And I come here with a great deal of humility about the size of these challenges and the constancy of them. But there isn’t anyone, I think, who doesn’t really believe – or you wouldn’t be here – that these challenges can be met and that the private sector can play a critical role in helping to do so.

This part of the world is blessed with a stunning amount of commercial potential. Recently, the foreign minister of the Emirates shared with me a study that the Emirates have done with respect to what would happen in this region if we actually could make peace between Palestinians and Israelis and how there would be just this unleashing of commercial activity and a sense of possibility and transformation. And I know that the American private sector is absolutely committed. I read the papers; I know how some people spread rumors and some people want to sow the seeds of doubt, but let me dispel them firmly today. The United States of America is eager, ready and willing to be a catalyst in Egypt’s economic development, and we respect the efforts that you are already making, and we want to help you grow them. (Applause.)

Last year, U.S. companies invested more than $2 billion here. I was sitting at the table a moment ago and was reminded that during all of this change that has been taking place, not one company left. We believe in these possibilities, and you’re engaged in nearly every single sector of the Egyptian economy, from energy to health to automobiles, food security, financial services, manufacturing – that’s what American companies are already investing in. Apache Corporation is Egypt’s largest oil producer. And since 2011, Microsoft has doubled its employment in the country and developed the so-called citizen’s portal, giving Egyptians access to more than 300 government services online. Nearly 30 percent of Egypt’s installed power capacity, 30 percent comes from General Electric. And American companies are top-flight corporate citizens, I assure you, bringing the best practices in transparency, innovation, technology transfer, and social responsibility.

Our team at the State Department absolutely understands – as I mentioned a little while ago – that capital needs confidence. And that confidence has to be earned. That’s why we’re working so hard with the Egyptian Government to help support their efforts to implement reforms. And President Sisi has engaged on a bold and critical path to implement reforms. He’s committed to restoring investor confidence in Egypt’s[i] future. He is taking steps to stabilize Egypt’s macro economy and improve the climate for doing business. He has launched a serious effort to phase in the costly – to phase out the costly energy subsidies. And he’s promising tax reform and new investment that aims – the new investment law, I think, that just actually passed in order to eliminate red tape for company registration and project licensing. These are big steps. They’re not all the steps; I understand that. Everybody understands how difficult this part of the road is. But we also know from experience that it’s a fragile process and it’s not going to be easy.

But to sustain it, it’s going to require all of your help and our help and our commitment. And I am not blind to the hurdles that stand in the way. But I want to emphasize: There is a path forward. It’s not as if there aren’t options, choices. And economists predict that the investment that we see in Egypt today could actually grow dramatically if each of these proposals are fully implemented and begin to take hold.

So first, more steps have to be taken in order to improve and sustain a welcoming investment climate. Now, I understand that the new investment law contains provisions to establish a one-stop shop for business registration. And that is something that we have been advocating and supporting for some time. It’s very difficult to come into anywhere, whatever country it is, and get run around from one ministry to another, no matter where you are, and wait month after month after month in order to try to get a decision and not get it. And that hurts investment, it scares investment, because capital needs to have a return, you need to get to work as fast as you can.

So the faster you get those decisions, which hopefully comes from a one-stop shop capacity, the easier you can move. And everybody knows that no country is immune to it. Wherever there is any kind of corruption in that process, that is a hurdle to the movement of capital and to the building of confidence. Of course, a solid bankruptcy piece of legislation is also a critical step that many investors tell us they want to see. And so we’re going to work with the Egyptian Government to try to streamline the decision-making as much as we humanly can affect it.

Second, intellectual property protections have to be strengthened. Better protection of trademarks and patents encourages innovation. It encourages investment, encourages job creation, and it will also shield the public from threats to safety and health from counterfeit goods or from things that haven’t been properly vetted. Strong intellectual property protections are really not a luxury in today’s global marketplace; they are essential to being able to build confidence and attract capital.

In addition, finally, entrepreneurs have got to be empowered to create jobs and grow their businesses. Egypt boasts a lot of very capable entrepreneurs; I’ve met many of them. Too many are still in the diaspora. They need to come back. And the confidence-building is critical to bringing them back. But people like Tanta Iqraaly, who has founded Recyclobekia, or – which recycles electronic waste – it’s a very smart idea; Mia Medhat, who founded Eventtos, which connects people throughout Cairo; the company Cairo Angels has invented – has invested, I think, in some eight startups just since 2012 alone.

But a lot more can clearly be done to unleash Egypt’s talent and investment, and I think all of you understand that. The government and the private sector need to work together to remove the barriers for entrepreneurs, and we pledge to work with you to help people to do that, to go from startup to maturity. And that includes making it easier to turn ideas into products and services that can transform the Egyptian economy.

We also understand that part of the essential ingredients of being able to innovate and being able to invest your capital freely and being able to do so with confidence and knowing that there is transparency and accountability – part of that is also having the freedom to exchange ideas, including when you disagree with your government. And the more inclusive and the more diverse and the more rules-based and accountable the political process is, the greater confidence the business community will have. We continue to talk about these imperatives with the Egyptian Government, and we look forward to seeing further progress in the fulfilment of the democratic aspirations of the people of Egypt.

Now, I know the reason that you’re here. It’s because every single one of you already sees and feels this promise of this great country, this country that has written so much history, been at the forefront of the development of so many of the things we take for granted in the world today, going back to the beginnings of civilization. I also know that many of you have voiced a need for greater transparency and accountability in the government’s engagement with the private sector. The Egypt Economic Development Conference – this conference is a significant step on the path to addressing that concern.

And let me emphasize: The United States, President Obama, myself – we are committed to working with you and with the government to address your concerns. Going forward, I promise you we’ll do everything we can to make it easier for you to create jobs, make it easier for you to build shared prosperity, while also contributing to a stronger and more fully positive relationship between the United States and Egypt. We will continue to work with Egypt, to bolster its economic reforms. We’re supporting the World Bank and the IMF efforts to provide technical expertise, which we know will also contribute to investor confidence. And we will continue to do our part in expanding opportunities for U.S. businesses in the Egyptian marketplace.

As leaders of some of America’s largest companies, those of you who are here, each of you really brings a unique perspective to this discussion and to these possibilities. We will be calling on every one of you in the days ahead. We will need the talent and commitment of everybody in this room, all the good ideas and all the commitment that comes from being on the front lines in order to realize the potential that is in front of us.

But let me just convince you of one simple thing: You can’t get – you can’t become the prisoners of a chicken-and-egg debate – which comes first, the chicken or the egg? If you sit there and say, “Well, I just want to wait a little longer to invest because I want to make sure that everything’s going to be quiet and run absolutely smoothly,” that may be the lack of the next job or the next opportunity that gives people the confidence to make sure the next opportunity comes. You have to make the decision to believe in Egypt as much as a lot of other people who are not Egyptian do. You have to commit to make certain that we’re attracting capital, that we’re investing in the future, because the more jobs that are created, the more people begin to see the movement towards that future, the more opportunities there are for those young people, the faster all the other things will be taken care of and the faster things will turn around.

So we need patience, we need focus, we need discipline, but above all, we need to believe in the future. And if we do, I’m absolutely confident of the role Egypt is going to play in helping to define that future. Thank you. (Applause.)

[i] Secretary meant to say Egypt, instead of Israel, as delivered.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Secretary Kerry Issues Statement on Mauritius’ Independence Day

Department of State
Washington, DC
March 12, 2015

On behalf of President Obama and the people of the United States, I congratulate the people of Mauritius as you celebrate the 47th anniversary of independence on March 12.

Mauritius is an example to other nations in the region your most recent election demonstrates your legacy of peaceful democratic transitions, good governance, and the power of the vote which Mauritian citizens have exercised time and time again.

The United States and Mauritius work together to advance regional security, enhance trade and investment,
and defend human rights.

On this day of celebration, I wish the people of Mauritius continued peace and prosperity.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

FY 2015 Notice of Funding Opportunity for NGO Programs Benefiting Refugees in Uganda, Tanzania, and the DRC

Funding Opportunity Announcement
Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration
March 5, 2015

Funding Opportunity Number: PRM-PRMOAPAF-15-009

Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) number: 19.517 – Overseas Refugee Assistance Programs for Africa

Announcement issuance date: Thursday, March 5, 2015

Proposal submission deadline: Monday, April 6, 2015 at 12:00 p.m. noon EDT. Proposals submitted after this deadline will not be considered.

**ADVISORY: All applicants must submit proposals through the website NOT through Please note that if you apply on the site, your application will be disqualified. PRM strongly recommends submitting your proposal early to allow time to address any difficulties that may arise.**

If you are new to PRM funding, the registration process can be complicated. We urge you to refer to PRM’s General NGO Guidelines “New to PRM Funding” section for information and resources to help ensure that the application process runs smoothly. PRM also strongly encourages organizations that have received funding from PRM in the past to read this section as a refresher.

Full Text of Notice of Funding Opportunity

A. Program Description

This announcement references PRM’s General NGO Guidelines which contain additional information on PRM’s priorities and NGO funding strategy with which selected organizations must comply. Please use both the General NGO Guidelines and this announcement to ensure that your submission is in full compliance with PRM requirements and that the proposed activities are in line with PRM’s priorities. Submissions that do not reflect the requirements outlined in these guidelines will not be considered.

Current Funding Priorities:

(a) Proposed activities should primarily support refugees in Uganda, Tanzania (Nyarugusu Camp), and Democratic Republic of the Congo (Equateur Province) as outlined below. All proposals should target beneficiaries as identified in collaboration with UNHCR and local authorities.

(b) Because of PRM’s mandate to provide protection, assistance, and sustainable solutions for refugees and victims of conflict, PRM will consider funding only those projects that include a target beneficiary base of at least 50% refugees. Activities should be implemented in close collaboration with UNHCR and local authorities.

Country-specific Provisions:


(c) Proposals must focus on assistance to either refugee settlements OR to urban refugee communities.

(d) For proposed activities in Uganda’s settlements, at least 80% of beneficiaries must be refugees with the remainder, if any, being vulnerable individuals in host communities. Proposals may focus on one or more of the following areas of intervention:

(i) Life-saving basic preventative and curative healthcare assistance
(ii) Protection and gender-based violence (GBV) prevention and response targeting vulnerable groups, including lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex (LGBTI) individuals
(iii) Water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH)
(iv) Peacebuilding and conflict resolution, including information sharing, promotion of social cohesion, and/or conflict sensitivity activities
(v) Livelihoods, including vocational training/education

(e) For proposed activities in urban settings, PRM will consider funding only those projects that include a target beneficiary base of at least 50% refugees to allow PRM-funded programs in urban areas to pursue a community-based approach that also benefits host communities, wherever possible. Proposals may focus on the following areas of intervention:
(i) Protection and gender-based violence (GBV) prevention and response targeting vulnerable groups, including lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex (LGBTI) individuals
(ii) Livelihoods, including vocational training/education


(f) Proposals must focus on the following sector in the Nyarugusu refugee camp in western Tanzania:
(i) Life-saving basic preventative and curative healthcare assistance, including prevention of and response to gender-based violence

Democratic Republic of Congo

(g) Proposals must focus on Equateur Province, specifically on areas receiving new refugees from the Central African Republic (CAR). Proposals may focus on one or more of the following areas of intervention:
(i) Water, sanitation, hygiene (WASH)
(ii) Protection and gender-based violence (GBV) prevention and response, including psychosocial support and assistance to vulnerable refugees
(iii) Peacebuilding and conflict resolution, including information sharing, promotion of social cohesion, and/or conflict sensitivity activities
(iv) Livelihoods, including vocational training/education

B. Federal Award Information

Proposed program start dates: June 1 – September 15 2015

Duration of Activity: Program plans for 12, 24, or 36 months will be considered. Applicants may submit multi-year proposals with activities and budgets that do not exceed 36 months from the proposed start date. Actual awards will not exceed 12 months in duration and activities and budgets submitted in year one can be revised/updated each year. Continued funding after the initial 12- month award requires the submission of a noncompeting continuation application and will be contingent upon available funding, strong performance, and continuing need. In funding a project one year, PRM makes no representations that it will continue to fund the project in successive years and encourages applicants to seek a wide array of donors to ensure long-term funding possibilities. Please see Multi-Year Funding section below for additional information.

Funding Limits: Project proposals for Uganda and the DRC must not be more than $1,000,000 or they will be disqualified.

Project proposals for Tanzania must not be more than $500,000 or they will be disqualified.

C. Eligibility Information

1. Eligible Applicants: (1) Nonprofits having a 501(c)(3) status with IRS, other than institutions of higher education; (2) Nonprofits without 501(c)(3) status with IRS, other than institutions of higher education; and (3) International Organizations. International multilateral organizations, such as United Nations agencies, should not submit proposals through in response to this Notice of Funding Opportunity announcement. Multilateral organizations that are seeking funding for programs relevant to this announcement should contact the PRM Program Officer (as listed below) on or before the closing date of the funding announcement.

2. Cost Sharing or Matching: Cost sharing, matching, or cost participation is not a requirement of an application in response to this funding announcement.

(a) Proposals must have a concrete implementation plan with well-conceived objectives and indicators that are specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and reliable, time-bound, and trackable (SMART), have established baselines, and include at least one outcome or impact indicator per objective; objectives should be clearly linked to the sectors.

(b) Proposals must adhere to relevant international standards for humanitarian assistance. See PRM’s General NGO Guidelines for a complete list of sector-specific standards including new guidance on proposals for projects in urban areas.

(c) PRM strongly encourages programs that target the needs of potentially vulnerable and underserved groups among the beneficiary population (women; children; lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or intersex (LGBTI) individuals; older persons; the sick; persons with disabilities; and other minorities) and can demonstrate what steps have been taken to meet the specific and unique protection and assistance needs of these vulnerable groups effectively. NOTE: PRM partners must complete a gender analysis (see PRM proposal template, section 3a) that briefly analyzes (1) gender dynamics within the target population (i.e., roles, power dynamics, and different needs of men and women, girls and boys); (2) associated risks and implementation challenges for the project posed by those dynamics; and (3) how program activities will mitigate these protection risks and be made accessible to vulnerable groups (particularly women and girls). A gender analysis is a requirement prior to PRM making a final funding award.

(d) PRM will accept proposals from any NGO working in the above mentioned sectors although, given budgetary constraints, priority will be given to proposals from organizations that can demonstrate:

• a working relationship with UNHCR, current UNHCR funding, and/or a letter of support from UNHCR for the proposed activities and/or overall country program (this letter should highlight the gap in services the proposed program is designed to address);
• a proven track record in providing proposed assistance both in the sector and specified location;
• evidence of coordination with international organizations (IOs) and other NGOs working in the same area or sector as well as – where possible – local authorities;
• a strong transition plan, where feasible, involving local capacity-building;
• where applicable, adherence to PRM’s Principles for Refugee Protection in Urban Areas;
• an understanding of and sensitivity to conflict dynamics in the project location.

D. Application and Submission Instructions

1. Address to Request Application Package:

(a) Application packages may be downloaded from the website

2. Content and Form of Application:

(a) PRM Standardized Indicators:

Health: Proposals focusing on health in camp based/returnee settings must include a minimum of one of the four following indicators and should try to include as many of the other indicators as are relevant:

• Number of consultations/clinician/day (Target: Fewer than 50 patients per clinician per day).
• Measles vaccination rate for children under five (Target: 95% coverage).
• Percentage of deliveries attended by a skilled birth attendant in a health care facility (Target: 100%).
• Percentage of reporting rape survivors given post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) with 72 hours (Target: 100%).

Proposals focusing on health in urban/non-camp settings must include a minimum of one of the six following indicators and should try to include as many of the other indicators as are relevant:

• Capacity-building: number of health care professionals/administrators trained on providing health services to beneficiary populations.
• Referrals: number of beneficiaries referred to appropriate services, and percentage of those referred who were able to get needed services.
• Community Outreach: number of beneficiaries who received targeted messages on their rights and health-related services available to them.
• Health Staffing: number of total consultations per health care provider, disaggregated by refugee/national, sex, and age.
• Patient Satisfaction: percentage of beneficiary patients receiving primary and emergency care who express satisfaction with services received.
• Post Exposure Prophylaxis: percentage of reporting beneficiary rape survivors given PEP within 72 hours (Target: 100%).

NGO proposals seeking to fund service provision may include the following indicators as appropriate:

• Primary Care: number and percentage of beneficiary patients, by sex and age, receiving primary health care assistance.
• Emergency Care: number and percentage of beneficiary patients, by sex and age, receiving care for trauma or sudden illness.

Proposals should include custom health indicators in addition to the relevant standardized indicator(s).

Key Resources – Health

• Sphere Handbook:
• UNHCR Health Guidelines, Policies, and Strategies:
• OFDA NGO Guidance (pages 96-110):

Livelihoods: Proposals focusing on livelihoods in camp based/returnee settings must include a minimum of one of the three following indicators and should try to include as many of the other indicators as are relevant:

• Number of project beneficiaries, disaggregated by gender and population (refugee, national) receiving training on appropriate skills as determined by market and livelihood assessments. This may include language and skills training, entrepreneurship building, financial literacy, business support services, job placement and apprenticeship schemes, and/or legal aid.
• Number and percentage of program participants, disaggregated by gender and population (refugee, national) reporting higher household income level by end of project period as compared to the pre-project baseline assessment.
• (Temporary Employment) Number of beneficiaries, disaggregated by gender and population (refugee, national) participating in cash or food for work programs.
Proposals focusing on livelihoods in urban/non-camp settings must include a minimum of one of the eight following indicators and should try to include as many of the other indicators as are relevant:
• Number of project beneficiaries, disaggregated by gender and population (refugee, national) receiving training on appropriate skills as determined by market and livelihood assessments. This may include language and skills training, entrepreneurship building, financial literacy, business support services, job placement and apprenticeship schemes, and/or legal aid.
• Number and percentage of program participants, disaggregated by gender and population (refugee, national) reporting higher household income level by end of project period as compared to the pre-project baseline assessment.
• Number and percentage of program participants, disaggregated by gender and population (refugee, national) in urban settings who are placed in jobs by completion of the project period. Note: A chart should be provided reflecting the length of employment for program participants.
• (Temporary Employment) Number of beneficiaries, disaggregated by gender and population (refugee, national) participating in cash or food for work programs.
• The percentage of sampled host community employers who are able to identify at least two skill-sets (e.g., carpentry, embroidery) among program beneficiaries living in their municipality.
• The percentage of sampled host community employers who are able to describe accurately the procedures for hiring program beneficiaries.
• The percentage of sampled urban program beneficiaries who:
o Are able to describe accurately the procedures for receiving permits to conduct business.
o Apply for and receive for business permits.
• The percentage of sampled urban program beneficiaries who are economically self-reliant, as measured by self-reporting of household consumption and income sources.
Proposals should include custom livelihoods indicators in addition to the relevant standardized indicator(s).

Key Resources – Livelihoods

USAID/OFDA Guidelines for Proposals, October 2012 (pgs. 82-96)
• Women’s Refugee Commission, Preventing Gender Based Violence, Building Livelihoods: Guidance and Tools for Improved Programming
• Minimum Economic Recovery Standards, 2nd ed. Washington, DC, USA: The SEEP Network, 2010.
• Emergency Market Mapping and Analysis Toolkit. (EMMA) Practical Action Publishing. 2010. (In French as of 2011.)
• Local Economic Recovery in Post-Conflict: Guidelines. Geneva: ILO, 2010.—ed_emp/documents/instructionalmaterial/wcms_141270.pdf

(b) Proposals must be submitted via (not via If you are new to PRM funding, the registration process can be complicated. We urge you to refer to PRM’s General NGO Guidelines “New to PRM Funding” section for information and resources to help ensure that the application process runs smoothly. PRM also strongly encourages organizations that have received funding from PRM in the past to read this section as a refresher. Applicants may also refer to the “Applicant Resources” page on for complete details on requirements (

(c) Do not wait until the last minute to submit your application on Organizations not registered with should register well in advance of the deadline as it can take up to two weeks to finalize registration (sometimes longer for non-U.S. based NGOs to get the required registration numbers). To register with, organizations must first receive a Dun and Bradstreet Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) number and register with the System for Award Management (SAM) at which can take weeks and sometimes months. We recommend that organizations, particularly first-time applicants, submit applications via no later than one week before the deadline to avoid last-minute technical difficulties that could result in an application not being considered. PRM partners must maintain an active SAM registration with current information at all times during which they have an active federal award or an application under consideration by PRM or any federal agency.

(d) To register with, organizations must 1) receive a DUNS number; 2) register with the System for Award Management (SAM); 3) register with; and 4) designate points of contact and authorized organization representatives in Organizations based outside the United States must also request and receive an NCAGE code prior to registering with

(e) Applications must be submitted under the authority of the Authorized Organization Representative (AOR) at the applicant organization. Having proposals submitted by agency headquarters helps to avoid possible technical problems.

(f) If you encounter technical difficulties with please contact the Help Desk at or by calling 1-800-518-4726. Applicants who are unable to submit applications via due to technical difficulties and who have reported the problem to the help desk, received a case number, and had a service request opened to research the problem, should contact the relevant PRM Program Officer to determine whether an alternative method of submission is appropriate.

(g) It is the responsibility of each applicant to ensure the appropriate registrations are in place and active. Failure to have the appropriate organizational registrations in place is not considered a technical difficulty and is not justification for an alternate means of submission.

(h) Pursuant to U.S. Code, Title 218, Section 1001, stated on OMB Standard Form 424 (SF-424), the Department of State is authorized to consolidate the certifications and assurances required by Federal law or regulations for its federal assistance programs. The list of certifications and assurances can be found at:

3. Dun and Bradstreet Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) Number and System for Award Management (SAM)

Each applicant is required to: (i) be registered in SAM before submitting its application; (ii) provide a valid DUNS number in its application; and (iii) continue to maintain an active SAM registration with current information at all times during which it has an active PRM award or an application or plan under consideration by PRM. No federal award may be made to an applicant until the applicant has complied with all applicable DUNS and SAM requirements and, if an applicant has not fully complied with the requirements by the time the PRM award is ready to be made, PRM may determine that the applicant is not qualified to receive a PRM award and use that determination as a basis for making a PRM award to another applicant.

4. Submission Dates and Times

Announcement issuance date: Thursday, March 5, 2015

Proposal submission deadline: Monday, April 6, 2015 at 12:00 p.m. noon EDT.

5. Intergovernmental Review – Not Applicable.

6. Funding Restrictions. Federal awards will not allow reimbursement of Federal Award costs without prior authorization by PRM.

7. Other Submission Requirements

Content and Formatting

(a) This announcement is designed to accompany PRM’s General NGO Guidelines which contain additional administrative information on proposal content and formatting, and explain in detail PRM’s NGO funding strategy and priorities. Please use both the General NGO Guidelines and this announcement to ensure that your proposal submission is in full compliance with PRM requirements and that the proposed activities are in line with PRM’s priorities. Proposal submissions that do not meet all of the requirements outlined in these guidelines will not be considered.

(b) PRM strongly recommends using the proposal and budget templates that are available upon email request from PRM’s NGO Coordinator. Please send an email, with the phrase “PRM NGO Templates” in the subject line, to PRM’s NGO Coordinator to receive an automated reply with the templates. Single-year proposals using PRM’s templates must be no more than 20 pages in length (Times New Roman 12 point font, one inch margins on all sides). If the applicant does not use PRM’s recommended templates, proposals must not exceed 15 pages in length. Organizations may choose to attach work plans, activity calendars, and/or logical frameworks as addendums/appendices to the proposal. These attachments do not count toward the page limit total however annexes cannot be relied upon as a key source of program information. The proposal narrative must be able to stand on its own in the application process. For multi-year funding application instructions, see section (e) below.

(c) To be considered for PRM funding, organizations must submit a complete application package including:

• Proposal reflecting objectives and indicators for each year of the program period.
• Budget and budget narrative for each year of the program period.
• Signed completed SF-424.

(d) In addition, proposal submissions to PRM should include the following information:

• Focus on outcome or impact indicators as much as possible. At a minimum, each objective should have one outcome or impact indicator. Wherever possible, baselines should be established before the start of the project.
• To increase PRM’s ability to track the impact of PRM funding, include specific information on locations of projects and beneficiaries (GPS coordinates if possible).
• Proposals should outline how the NGO will acknowledge PRM funding. If an organization believes that publicly acknowledging the receipt of USG funding for a particular PRM-funded project could potentially endanger the lives of the beneficiaries and/or the organization staff, invite suspicion about the organization’s motives, or alienate the organization from the population it is trying to help, it must provide a brief explanation in its proposal as to why it should be exempted from this requirement.
• The budget should include a specific breakdown of funds being provided by UNHCR, other USG agencies, other donors, and your own organization.
• Applicants whose proposals address gender-based violence (GBV) through their projects must estimate the total cost of these activities as a separate line item in their proposed budgets. PRM’s budget template document has been updated to reflect this requirement.
• Gender analysis (See above. Required before an award can be made).
• Copy of the organization’s Code of Conduct (required before an award can be made).
• Copy of the organization’s Security Plan (required before an award can be made).
• Proposals and budgets should include details of any sub-agreements associated with the program.
• Most recent Negotiated Indirect Cost Rate Agreement (NICRA), if applicable.
• NGOs that have not received PRM funding since the U.S. government fiscal year ending September 30, 2004 must be prepared to demonstrate that they meet the financial and accounting requirements of the U.S. government by submitting copies of 1) the most recent external financial audit, 2) proof of non-profit tax status including under IRS 501 (c)(3), as applicable, 3) a Dun and Bradstreet Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) number, and 4) an Employer ID (EIN)/Federal Tax Identification number.
• Organizations that received PRM funding in FY 2014 for activities that are being proposed for funding under this announcement must include the most recent quarterly progress report against indicators outlined in the cooperative agreement. If an organization’s last quarterly report was submitted more than six weeks prior to the submission of a proposal in response to this funding announcement, the organization must include, with its most recent quarterly report, updates that show any significant progress made on objectives since the last report.

(e) Multi-Year Funding: Applicants proposing multi-year programs should adhere to the following guidance:

Applicants may submit proposals that include multi-year strategies presented in 12-month cycles for a period not to exceed 36 months from the proposed start date. Fully developed programs with detailed budgets, objectives and indicators are required for each year of activities. These can be updated yearly upon submission of continuation applications. Applicants should note that they may use PRM’s recommended multi-year proposal template for this application, which is different from the single year template. Multi-year funding applicants may also use PRM’s standard budget template and should submit a separate budget sheet for each project year. Multi-year proposals using PRM’s templates must be no more than 30 pages in length (Times New Roman 12 point font, one inch margins on all sides). If the applicant does not use PRM’s recommended templates, proposals must not exceed 25 pages in length. Organizations may choose to attach work plans, activity calendars, and/or logical frameworks as addendums/appendices to the proposal. These attachments do not count toward the page limit total.

Multi-year applications selected for funding by PRM will be funded in 12- month increments based on the proposal submitted in the initial application as approved by PRM. Continued funding after the initial 12- month award requires the submission of a noncompeting continuation application and will be contingent upon available funding, strong performance, and continuing need. Continuation applications must be submitted by the organization no later than 90 days before the proposed start date of the new award (e.g., if the next project period is to begin on September 1, submit your application by June 1). Continuation applications are submitted in lieu of responding to PRM’s published call for proposals for those activities. Late continuation applications will jeopardize continued funding.

Organizations can request multi-year funding and continuation application templates by emailing PRM’s NGO Coordinator with the phrase “PRM NGO Templates” in the subject line.

(f) Branding and Marking Strategy: Unless exceptions have been approved by the designated bureau Authorizing Official as described in the proposal templates that are available upon email request from PRM’s NGO Coordinator, at a minimum, the following provision will be included whenever assistance is awarded:

• As a condition of receipt of this assistance award, all materials produced pursuant to the award, including training materials, materials for recipients or materials to communicate or promote with foreign audiences a program, event, project, or some other activity under this agreement, including but not limited to invitations to events, press materials, event backdrops, podium signs, etc. must be marked appropriately with the standard U.S. flag in a size and prominence equal to (or greater than) any other logo or identity.
o Subrecipients and subsequent tier sub-award agreements are subject to the marking requirements and the recipient shall include a provision in the subrecipient agreement indicating that the standard, rectangular U.S. flag is a requirement. In the event the recipient does not comply with the marking requirements as established in the approved assistance agreement, the Grants Officer Representative and the Grants Officer must initiate corrective action.

E. Application Review Information

1. Criteria: Eligible submissions will be those that comply with the criteria and requirements included in this announcement. In addition, the review panel will evaluate the proposals based on the following criteria:

(i) Problem Analysis
(ii) Program Description
(iii) Objectives and Indicators
(iv) Monitoring and Evaluation Plan
(v) Beneficiary Interaction and Capacity Building
(vi) Coordination with other Stakeholders
(vii) Transition Plan
(viii) Management Capacity
(ix) Budget

2. PRM will conduct a formal competitive review of all proposals submitted in response to this funding announcement. A review panel of at least three people will evaluate submissions based on the above-referenced programmatic criteria and PRM priorities in the context of available funding.

F. Federal Award Administration Information

1. Federal Award Administration. A successful applicant can expect to receive a separate notice from PRM stating that an application has been selected before PRM actually makes the federal award. That notice is not an authorization to begin performance. Only the notice of award signed by the grants officer is the authorizing document. Unsuccessful applicants will be notified following completion of the selection and award process.

2. Administrative and National Policy Requirements. PRM awards are made consistent with the following provisions in the following order of precedence: (a) applicable laws and statutes of the United States, including any specific legislative provisions mandated in the statutory authority for the award; (b) Code of Federal Regulations (CFR); (c) Department of State Standard Terms and Conditions of the award;
(d) the award’s specific requirements; and (e) other documents and attachments to the award.

3. Reporting

(a) Program Reports: PRM requires program reports describing and analyzing the results of activities undertaken during the validity period of the agreement. A program report is required within thirty (30) days following the end of each three month period of performance during the validity period of the agreement. The final program report is due ninety (90) days following the end of the agreement. The submission dates for program reports will be written into the cooperative agreement. Partners receiving multi-year awards should follow this same reporting schedule and should still submit a final program report at the end of each year that summarizes the NGO’s performance during the previous year.

The Performance Progress Report (SF-PPR) is a standard, government-wide performance reporting format available at: Recipients of PRM funding must submit the signed SF-PPR cover page with each program report. In addition, the Bureau suggests that NGOs receiving PRM funding use the PRM recommended program report template and reference this template as being attached in block 10 of the SF-PPR. This template is designed to ease the reporting requirements while ensuring that all required elements are addressed. The Program Report Template can be requested by sending an email with only the phrase “PRM NGO Templates” (without the quotation marks) in the subject line to

Successful applicants will be required to submit:

(a) Financial Reports: Financial reports are required within thirty (30) days following the end of each calendar year quarter during the validity period of the agreement (January 30th, April 30th, July 30th, October 30th). The final financial report covering the entire period of the agreement is required within ninety (90) days after the expiration date of the agreement. For agreements containing indirect costs, final financial reports are due within sixty (60) days of the finalization of the applicable negotiated indirect cost rate agreement (NICRA).

Reports reflecting expenditures for the recipient’s overseas and United States offices should be completed in accordance with the Federal Financial Report (FFR SF-425) and submitted electronically in the Department of Health and Human Services’ Payment Management System (HHS/PMS) and in accordance with other award specific requirements. Detailed information pertaining to the Federal Financial Report including due dates, instruction manuals and access forms, is provided on the HHS/PMS website at

For more details regarding reporting requirements please see PRM’s General NGO Guidelines.

G. PRM Contacts

Applicants with technical questions related to this announcement should contact the PRM staff listed below prior to proposal submission. Please note that responses to technical questions from PRM do not indicate a commitment to fund the program discussed.

Acting PRM Program Officer: Lin’An Bartlett (; (202) 453-9379; Washington, D.C.

Regional Refugee Coordinator: Josh Fischel (; +256-414-306001 ext. 6519; U.S. Embassy Kampala.

South Africa’s AGOA Envoy Calls On U.S. Congress to Reauthorize AGOA

(c)AMIP News Photo – Ambassador Faizel Ishmail
Washington, DC
March 10, 2015

By Frederick Nnoma-Addison

South Africa’s African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) Envoy, and former Ambassador to the World Trade Organisation (WTO) Ambassador Faizel Ishmail has called on the U.S. Congress to reauthorize AGOA in the mutual interest of U.S.-Sub Saharan trade and economic welfare. He made this call during a press conference at the South Africa Embassy in Washington last week. His call re-echoes those of several other government and corporate leaders involved in US-Africa trade.

Ambassador Ishmail led a delegation to Washington for bilateral trade talks with the U.S. Trade Representative Office (USTR) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture, to “make the case” for AGOA’s extension for at least 15 years. He described AGOA as “one of the programs that has been generally successful, and responsible for the revival of a number of sectors on the continent.”

Citing specific success stories beyond his own country’s Auto sector which has benefited from AGOA, Ambassador Ishmail stated that “AGOA is responsible for the revival of the clothing and textile industries in Lesotho, Botswana and Kenya – after its downturn in the 80’s and 90’s. AGOA has provided incentives for investors to come back and also spurred regional cooperation”

He and his delegation met with Senator’s Coons (D-DE) and Isakson (R-GA) to discuss among other topics, U.S. interests in South Africa’s poultry markets, and also address previous differences that existed. He said they “made good progress” in their meetings and hope that politics will not impede the reauthorization debate and process.

African Growth & Opportunity Act: Background and Reauthorization

The African Growth and Opportunity Act, or AGOA (Title I, Trade and Development Act of 2000; P.L. 106–200) is a legislation that was first authorized by the US congress in 2000 to encourage export-led growth and economic development in Sub Saharan Africa (SSA) and improve U.S. economic relations with the region. Its current authorization expires in September 30, 2015. AGOA is a nonreciprocal trade preference program that provides duty-free treatment to U.S. imports of certain products from eligible SSA countries. AGOA was initially signed by President Clinton into law in May 2000.

The legislation authorized the President of the United States to determine which sub-Saharan African countries would be eligible for AGOA on an annual basis. The eligibility criteria focused on improving labor rights and movement toward a market-based economy. Each year, the President evaluates sub-Saharan African countries and determines which countries should remain eligible. Countries’ inclusion has fluctuated with changes in their local political environment. In December 2009, for example, Guinea, Madagascar, and Niger were all removed from the list of eligible countries; by October 2011, though, eligibility was restored to Guinea and Niger, and by June 2014, to Madagascar as well.

Having AGOA eligibility does not imply automatic eligibility for a “Wearing Apparel” provision. To export apparel and certain textile to the United States under the AGOA duty-free, an eligible country must have implemented a “Visa System” that satisfies American authorities and proves compliance with the AGOA rules about origin.

In terms of tariff benefits and general eligibility criteria, AGOA is similar to the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP), a U.S. trade preference program that applies to more than 120 developing countries. AGOA, however, covers more products and includes additional eligibility criteria beyond those in GSP. Additionally, AGOA includes trade and development provisions beyond its duty-free preferences.

U.S. imports from AGOA beneficiary countries (AGOA countries) represent a small share (2%) of total U.S. imports and are largely concentrated in energy-related products. Oil is consistently the top duty-free U.S. import from AGOA countries, accounting for 77% of such imports in 2013. Despite remaining the top U.S. import under AGOA, U.S. oil imports from the region have fallen by more than half or nearly $30 billion, since 2011. Among non-energy products, apparel is the top export for a number of AGOA countries. U.S. apparel imports typically face relatively high tariffs and are excluded from duty-free treatment in GSP, but are included in the AGOA preferences giving AGOA countries a competitive advantage over other apparel producers. Still, only a handful of countries, primarily Lesotho, Kenya, and Mauritius, make significant use of the apparel benefits. Apart from apparel and energy products, South Africa accounts for the bulk of U.S. imports under AGOA. As the most economically advanced country in the region, South Africa also exports a much more diverse range of manufactured goods than other AGOA countries; vehicles in particular have become a major South African export under AGOA

Most observers agree that AGOA has successfully led to increased and more diversified exports to the United States from sub-Saharan African countries. Despite this, Congress may wish to address a number of issues and challenges as it considers possible reauthorization of AGOA. Among these challenges is how current and potential AGOA beneficiaries can better utilize the AGOA program and its duty-free benefits. Studies suggest that even among some countries that do make significant use of the AGOA preferences, the lower-skill apparel production which AGOA has spurred has not led to the production of higher-skill manufactured products. Other issues relate to the nonreciprocal nature of the AGOA preferences. Some argue that the United States should focus more on two-way trade agreements with the region, particularly with more advanced countries such as South Africa, given improving economic conditions in Africa in recent years. The European Union (EU), for example, has negotiated Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs) with several African countries that provide some reciprocal tariff benefits, potentially placing U.S. firms at a competitive disadvantage relative to European firms in some markets.


Africans Take Seat at Democratic National Committee (DNC) Ethnic Council – NDECC

File Photo
Dr. Okere Pictured with Honorable Nancy Pelosi (D-CA / House Minority Leader)
March 7, 2015
Washington, DC

By Frederick Nnoma-Addison

In an effort to live true to its core objective of representing the interests of all ethnicities, races and national origins, the National Democratic Ethnic Coordinating Council (NDECC) of the Democratic National Committee (DNC) has voted unanimously to welcome African Diaspora representation on the council.

Notable African Diaspora leader and community activist Dr. Sylvester Okere was fittingly appointed to fill Africa’s seat on the council and represent the African Diaspora community in the United States. His appointment as the African Representative takes immediate effect and he is tasked with mobilizing his constituents across the nation in the spirit of the Democratic Party’s proud and enduring tradition of community development, opportunity and empowerment. He will concurrently serve as the NDECC’S liaison to the DNC’s Black Caucus.

Three representatives of the council issued separate statements to commemorate the occasion.

“In recent decades, immigrant communities from Africa have grown in importance across the United States. Like other ethnic immigrant communities before them, they have organized their talents and resources and achieved great success. And like other ethnic communities, immigrants from Africa believe in the values of family, community, hard work, and respect for their heritage and traditions. They also know that the same government that guarantees their freedom and opportunity also plays an important role providing for the common good through public education, health care, Social Security, and the protection of the environment and the rights of consumers. These are the values of our Democratic Party and these are the values that made our country great. We are, therefore, proud to count immigrants from the African continent as members of our National Democratic Ethnic Coordinating Council”

Dr. James Zogby | Chair of the DNC Ethnic Council and Co-Founder of the NDECC

“We are incredibly excited to welcome Sylvester Okere to the NDECC and to have strong representation of the African Diaspora on the Council. Mr. Okere has a proven history of being a top leader in the African Diaspora in the United States, representing his community at the national, state and local level. He continues to amplify the African Diaspora’s voice through his political engagement and issue advocacy, and stands for the values of the Democratic Party. His strong leadership and organizing skills will allow the Democratic Party to better engage African Diaspora voters across the country as we prepare for the 2016 election and beyond. We are thrilled about this important partnership and having Mr. Okere on our team,”

Alexandra Chalupa | Co-Convernor of the NDECC


“Congrats! Glad to have you officially as part of the team!”

A’shanti F. Gholar | African American and Youth Engagement Desk (DNC)
Community Engagement Department


Dr. Okere is best described as a silent and effective giant for the African community in the United States, especially in the Washington, DC area. Among the many roles and positions he holds, he is the Director of the Continental Africa Leadership Council of the Maryland Democratic Party, member of the Executive Committee of the Maryland Democratic Party, Chairman of the African Entrepreneurs’ Coalition, and advisory board member of the Maryland Sister-State Program. He was the head of the Africa for Obama campaign in 2012, the first African immigrant in Maryland elected delegate to the DNC convention (2012), and one of the first African immigrants to speak on a national platform at the 50th Anniversary of the March on Washington – August 2013.

Dr. Okere has been interviewed several times on major TV and radio networks like VOA, NTA, CNN, Channels TV, (Africa’s largest network), Swedish Network, South African Times, Eminent Leaders Magazine, and The Voice. He is also a successful businessman whose business was named one of the “Top 100 Diversity Owned Businesses” in Maryland in 2009. In 2013 he received the African Heritage community economic empowerment award from Montgomery county, Maryland.

The NDECC constitutes a broad coalition of proven, recognized leaders representing Democratic networks organized along immigrant/ethnic lines from all background, faiths, ethnicities and demographic or geographic origins. It serves as the forum for coordination, cooperation and consensus building among these diverse groups, as well as the vehicle for the public assertion and advancement of their shared aspirations. The invitation to the African Diaspora community and Dr. Okere’s appointment to the council could not have come at a better time.